As a child, I always loved Christmas (as most of you probably do), and Easter had a special place too. But, for me, Halloween was a particularly special part of the year. I suppose some of it had to do with the fact that being raised in Chihuahua City, Mexico, it was a holiday I was always aware of, but had never experienced myself. Trick-or-treating was not a tradition in Mexico when I was a child in the 70's, but I knew through American program in television that it existed. When we moved to El Paso on December of '78, it was one of the things I looked forward to.
I was not disappointed. I look forward to every Halloween, especially now that I have two little girls, because it always reminds me of the first time I donned my mummy plastic costume (the type that came in a box). This year, we are tying the fall festival with several fun activities in our campus, including Red Ribbon Week, a Read-a-Thon, and of course, our Monster Exchange video conference with the GT classes at Cielo Vista Elementary.
My fondness for October also has its roots in another one of my childhood passions: baseball. Again, when I moved here from Chihuahua, one of the first things I became interested was the sport of baseball. In Chihuahua, I had followed it some, but when I came to the United States, I had more access to the games on television. October, of course, brought with it the excitement of the playoffs and World Series. It was at the time that I learned how to appreciate the flow of the sport, and I became a fan of the championship team at the time: the Pittsburgh Pirates. It has remained my team over the years, and I was happy to see them end their 20 year losing season streak this year with a trip to the divisional playoffs.
October is, of course, more than just Halloween treats and baseball. There is something crisp in the air. The temperatures cool, the days grow shorter, the trees drop their leaves and the grass turns yellow. But, it is all in preparation for the rebirth that will take place after the winter. It is part of a cycle. Much like those leaves, students and teachers also seem to leave old habit and old methods behind, in search for ways to better ourselves.
Finally, the fall, and October in particular, always remind me of a good book. The cool weather outside, the smell of fire places beginning to turn on, the ghost stories that abound, all lead me to want to sit back, pick a comfy chair (or a place underneath a tree) and simply read a nice, relaxing book. Most people talk about their summer reading list, but to me, the reading lists in the fall seem to be more interesting. Summer books are fun and light. But, fall books seem to be a bit more substantial... deeper, more challenging.
However you enjoy the fall, and October, I hope you are having a great month. I have enjoyed talking to my parents. It is great to see them take interest in their child's education. I have my own conferences with my two girls next week. I will wear my parent hat then. :-)